January 2, 2023

GENRE | Allison Williams Programs 'M3GAN' to Slay

"They could be building emotional connections that are too hard to entangle."
Allison Williams Gerard Johnstone | M3GAN | Blumhouse
Universal Pictures / Blumhouse Productions
Produced by horror stalwarts Jason Blum and James Wan, M3GAN is a PG-13 techno sci-fi slasher-comedy that hits most of the right notes as a cleverly satirical genre mashup of both evil toy dolls and killer futuristic robots. Directed by Gerard Johnstone, the film stars Allison Williams as a robotics engineer who creates a kid-friendly yet clearly sinister android with its own A.I. gone rogue to care for her orphaned nine-year-old niece (Violet McGraw).

Based on the reasonably straightforward premise, audiences can probably guess where things are headed storywise the moment we set eyes on the eerie eponymous robot babysitter—M3gan is short for "Model 3 Generative Android"—voiced superbly by Jenna Davis. M3gan wastes little time getting right to the point by setting up Williams' arc creating the perfect playmate to delegate her duties as a newfound but reluctant parental guardian.

Scripted by Malignant (an even more bonkers horror effort) co-writer Akela Cooper, the amusing but basic script layers M3gan with enough delightfully knowing elements while unsubtly reminding us how quickly we are replacing actual human relationships with the ease of technological advancements. It's hardly original or even that clever, but the film executes on the promise of its premise and provides enough thrills to make us rethink society's troubling over-reliance on our devices.

M3gan is another playful Blumhouse genre winner with its clear comic tone thanks to a preposterous but appealing homicidal premise. Not quite deranged, the unhinged tongue-in-cheek film slays, slashes, and even dances its way into your campy nightmares in an oddly endearing rumination on grief and parenthood.


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